Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen has been trying to avoid a trip to the disabled list after suffering a an avulsion fracture involving the costochondral cartilage of his left 11th rib one week ago against the Diamondbacks. The Pirates have been taking it slow, giving McCutchen time to heal up, and it appears to have been the right call.
Via Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune, Pirates GM Neal Huntington said of the defending NL MVP’s recovery: “His progress has been remarkable. That’s the most apt word I can put on it.” Huntington continued:
The Pirates, who lost to the Padres 8-2 on Sunday afternoon, have gone 3-3 since McCutchen’s last start on August 3. The 27-year-old four-time All-Star was in the midst of another MVP-esque season, blasting 17 home runs, knocking in 67 runs, stealing 17 bases, and slashing .311/.411/.536.
The Rays were set to honor retiring Red Sox DH David Ortiz with a ceremony prior to Sunday’s game, but as Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports, the slugger requested it be canceled out of respect for Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who tragically died early Sunday morning in a boating accident.
Ortiz was seen tearing up as the Rays remembered Fernandez and held a moment of silence:
Kudos to Ortiz for doing the right thing.
With a fourth-inning solo home run off of Phillies starter Jake Thompson, Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson reached the 30-homer plateau for the fourth time in his 13-year career. It’s a moment worth celebrating, only there’s one problem: he has just 56 RBI on the season.
There are many reasons for the low RBI total. 24 of Granderson’s 30 homers have come with the bases empty. He came into Sunday’s action hitting just .140 in 124 plate appearances with runners in scoring position and .197 with runners on base. He has hit leadoff for most of the season, meaning he’s had the Mets’ pitchers hitting “ahead” of him in the No. 9 slot as well as the Mets’ catchers typically hitting eighth. Mets catchers, collectively, have a .296 on-base percentage, the second-worst mark in the National League.
Since the end of August, Granderson has hit cleanup with Jose Reyes, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Yoenis Cespedes hitting in front of him. That change hasn’t been for naught, as he has 17 RBI in 21 games since.
Still, Granderson is on pace for the fewest RBI in a 30-homer season. Rob Deer and Felix Mantilla are tied for the record with 64 RBI. Deer (32 HR) accomplished the feat in 1992 with the Tigers and Mantilla (30 HR) in 1964 with the Red Sox. Only eight players have had 70 or fewer RBI in a 30-homer season. Evan Gattis is currently sitting on 30 homers with 68 RBI.